If there’s one way to ensure that you’re never devoid of inspiration, it’s to have a set of killer blog post ideas to fall back on when lighting just isn’t striking.
But the problem with pulling a fully formed idea out of your mental backup file is that too often you’ll resort to something cliched. And cliched blog post ideas are a ticket to your readers losing faith in your ability to say something new, interesting and informative.
So put down the bumper book of list post titles and read on for this, the list of five inspiring ideas that won’t leave your readers groaning.
Five Inspiring Blog Post Ideas
You’re not the first blogger to resort to a cliche when you’ve found yourself in a tight corner. And you certainly won’t be the last. But it’s incredibly difficult to set yourself up as an authority if you’re churning out list posts and bandwagon-jumpers.
Fortunately though, coming up with ideas for genuinely useful blog posts isn’t as hard as you might think. You just need to start thinking. But if you’ve not got the time to come up with something groundbreaking, these five ideas should tide you over until inspiration strikes:
1) Solve a Pressing Problem
Remember this idea. Carve it into the desk in front of you, write it on a post-it note stuck to your monitor, and have it tattooed on your forearm.
When you come to sketch out a blog post idea, the most important thing you can do is solve a problem. Every post that you create should be tailored towards helping your readers overcome a difficulty – which should provide you with endless inspiration for new posts.
If you’re in need of a great idea, stop and think about the problems you’re having. Then, do a little research and work out how you can solve that problem. By turning that research into a post, you’ll have created something that’ll impress your readers far more than a hackneyed list post will.
2) Look to Analytics for Inspiration
Maybe your problems are insurmountable, or you’re just that good that you can’t identify with the problems that your readers are suffering with.
In that case, it’s time to turn to your analytics to see just what people are looking for when they come to your site.
If you’ve paid any attention whatsoever to SEO best practice the majority of queries that send people to your site should be for your main key phrases. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find something very interesting.
You’ll see questions that have sent people to your site, despite the fact that you’ve never answered them. Maybe you just mentioned the words in a different context, or maybe you just asked the question without answering it. Either way, if your analytics is showing you what your readers are asking, you’ve just been inspired to come up with a post that answers them.
3) Share Your Time-Saving Tools
Of course, working out the solutions to problems and delving into the depths of your analytics package can take time. And you don’t have time to spare. That’s why you use so many tools to get the most bang for your buck.
Wait. You use time-saving tools? Is that not a blog post idea waiting to happen?
If you have a customised set of tools you use to make blogging, SEO or using social media quicker and easier for you, isn’t that something that your readers would find useful too?
I’m pretty sure it is, given how useful my readers found my indispensable Twitter tools. And I know that I’m always on the lookout for ways of saving time without impacting on quality.
So put together a quick post letting your readers know what tools you use and why they’d find them useful. It’s pretty much guaranteed to be well received, and it’s a fairly quick and easy post to get drafted up.
4) Ask Your Network for Advice
Of course, sometimes even when you’ve thought about problems, trawled through your analytics and debated the merits of Hootsuite over TweetDeck in your head, you still can’t think of a killer blog post idea.
At times like this, it might seem like the right time to dust off your draft of “73 Reasons that Copywriters are Better than Designers,” but step away from that list post. Because there are people out there who can help you.
I’m not talking about The Samaritans – although if you publish that 70-point list post, I’ll be giving them a ring. I’m talking about your network.
Talk to people in your niche – ask them what they’d like to read about, ask them to set you a challenge, or ask if they’d like to collaborate on a crowdsourced post.
If your friends can’t help, well, let’s go after some people you can’t stand, shall we?
5) Start a Good, Old Fashioned Argument
When all else fails, and you just can’t think of a good idea for your next blog post, start looking at sites you don’t like. Find bloggers you don’t agree with. And then mercilessly start to tear their points apart. Just make sure to give them a backlink for courtesy’s sake.
With a bit of luck, you’ll kick off a back-and-forth argument that’ll generate new posts, new ideas and new interest for both of you. And wouldn’t that just be the start of a beautiful new friendship?
Hopefully this post will have filled you with inspiration to go out and write some fantastic new posts that’ll raise your profile and increase your readership. Which is more than you can say for yet another cliche.
Of course, this isn’t a definitive list. Leave your inspirational ideas in the comments section below. If I use one for Unmemorable Title, I’ll be sure to drop you a link.
This post is an answer to one of the Burning Blogging Questions of 2013 - the Inspiration Question.